Thursday, March 29, 2018

Get up and share! A Shout-out to the Community

The last 2.5 years have been awesome. The past 1.5 years crazy. And the last 0.5 year overwhelmingly phenomenal.

Today I saw a tweet of Agile Testing Days that my newbie talk last year made it to the top ten talks; and it absolutely made my day.
Shortly after, I decided to send another tweet.
And as I saw the manifold positive reaction of the community around me, my day became even better. I'm so thankful to be part of it! This made me think: How did I get there? Here's the only answer I have, and I'll leave it rough and raw this time.

The Time Before

As my first job as a tester came to an end in 2011, I discovered Twitter and the testing community there. It made me start following them on Twitter.
Then cautiously shared some bits and pieces.
Got heavily encouraged by Lisa Crispin who suddenly followed me back!
Quite some time passed, but then I saw so many tweets about Agile Testing Days 2014. And I knew I had to go there!

2.5 Years Ago

So I did attend Agile Testing Days, in 2015.
And finally met Lisa in person! She encouraged me to speak at conferences myself. What, me? Nah...
End of the same year I changed jobs. After a period of projects, I finally returned to product development.
I encountered a really safe environment. Got valued and appreciated as a tester.
I grew. I tried things. I experimented, together with my team. I got lots of support. Strong leaders encouraging me. Trusting in me!

1.5 Years Ago

Back to Agile Testing Days in 2016. (I will always return to this conference; I'm biased as it was my first, but I love it.) It was massively inspiring.
And the best: I met Toyer! Accepted his deal to return next year as speakers. We became learning partners, and really took on this challenge!
I finally started to blog (by stopping overthinking it).
Started to tweet even more.
Started to finally overcome my fears and attended meetups. (First time in my life!)
Submitted to conferences; Agile Testing Days as well. (Of course.)
Got invited by Lisa to do a workshop with her!! Too good to be true.
And then also got selected to give a talk! For other conferences as well. Never expected that.
Now I had to do this. So I prepared and practiced a lot.
And got up on stage. Speaking! For the first time.
This way, got to know even more people in the community; especially the many other speakers. What a wealth of wonderful minds to learn from!
Time to celebrate.

The Past 0.5 Year

I'm absolutely stunned about the reaction of people around me. All this going out of my comfort zone and sharing increased my visibility in the community A LOT.
I even got invited to conferences! Never would have imagined that.
So tempting now to continue and submit further papers. (So I did).
Got selected to talk at further conferences this year as well!
This gained me the opportunity to attend even more conferences this year. I will meet again the awesome people I already know. I will meet even more people, gain more supporters, get more feedback, grow more.
I just love this community.


All this came not by its own. I consider myself really lucky: I have so many supporters around me who help me fly, and it's getting easier every day! I don't do anything differently than I have done before; besides one thing: I started to share. Publicly. And yes, I invested a lot of effort in that to make it happen. And also, I still have so many things to learn! Every day I learn how many more, and how many awesome people are already out there! I'm not the best tester, I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to tools, communication, or anything; and I definitely haven't got all the answers. What the past 2.5 years taught me is that I don't have to be all that. You don't have to be. All I have is the experience I have. As simple as that. Plus: I now share it for those who decide to listen.

It took me quite some time to realize that throughout the past years, I already had made more and more small steps out of my comfort zone, learning on my way in my own pace. Starting sharing got me the visibility that accelerated my learning a lot. I can only recommend to get up, go out there into the learning zone, and share. Discover that awesome community yourself that made my day.


  1. Very inspiring journey...I wish, I can also follow your path :)

    1. Thank you Ambreen! As far as I know you're doing well on your own path already :) Hope our paths will cross in the future!